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Care leader challenges government to debate TV documentary’s findings

Mike Padgham

Mike Padgham, MD of Saint Cecilia’s Care Group, has challenged the government to debate the issues on social care raised in a new TV documentary.

The care leader, whose care homes in Scarborough feature in the two-part broadcast which launches tonight on BBC2 at 7pm, has invited Health & Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid and Social Care Minister Gillian Keegan to debate its findings at a screening event on 3 December.

Mike (pictured) hopes the programmes will prompt the government to tackle the under-funding and staffing crisis in the care of our oldest and most vulnerable.

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The care leader said: “By inviting the Secretary of State and Minister to the screening event we hope to open constructive dialogue, offer solutions and discuss the many issues that the two programmes show.”

Mike is calling on the government to delay the introduction of mandatory care home staff vaccinations to April as it has with the NHS.

The documentary was filmed at Mike’s homes during COVID-19 in the summer to provide an “immersive” view of social care.

Mike said the programmes posed the question: what value do we place on the care of our oldest and most vulnerable?

“Care providers are working extremely hard to provide the best possible care in a sector that has seen more than £8bn cut from funding since 2010,” Mike said.

“Some 1.5m people are living without the care they need and we have 120,000 staff vacancies across the country. Things are only going to get worse.

“The staffing crisis has been exacerbated by Brexit robbing the sector of overseas job applicants and people finding other, less stressful and better paid work elsewhere.

“The million people receiving care at home and in residential homes, the 1.5m who can’t get the care they need and our amazing staff all deserve better.

“If this documentary can help get the crisis in social care higher up the political agenda and bring about some positive change, it will have been well worth it.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We appreciate the dedication and tireless work of health and social care staff throughout the pandemic. We have provided record levels of investment to support them and we are investing another £36 billion in health and care over the next three years – including £5.4 billion for social care – which will allow us to begin a comprehensive programme of reform for the care sector.

“We are introducing a cap of £86,000 on the amount someone will pay for their personal care costs and making the means test more generous. Compared to the current system, more people will be supported with their social care costs, have greater certainty over what they pay and receive higher quality care.”

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The author Lee Peart

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